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LOLLINGDON DOWNS 
AND OTHER POEMS 



JOHN MASEFIELD 



LIBRARY 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 
AND OTHER POEMS 




THIS FIRST EDITION OF 
"LOLLINGDON DOWNS AND 
OTHER POEMS " IS LIMITED 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 

AND 

OTHER POEMS 



BY 
JOHN MASEFIELD 

AUTHOR OF 

' IHE STORY OF A ROUND HOUSE, AND OTHER POEMS," 
"THE TRAGEDY OF POMPEY THE GREAT," ETC. 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 
1917 

All rights reserved 



COPTEIQHT, 1917 

BT JOHN MASEFIELD 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 
AND OTHER POEMS 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS AND OTHER POEMS 



So I have known this life, 
These beads of coloured days, 
This self the string. 
What is this thing? 

Not beauty; no; not greed, 
O, not indeed; 
Not all, though much; 
Its colour is not such. 

It has no eyes to see, 
It has no ears, 
It is a red hour's war 
Followed by tears. 

It is an hour of time, 

An hour of road, 

Flesh is its goad, 

Yet, in the sorrowing lands, 

Women and men take hands. 

7 



8 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 

earth, give us the corn, 

Come rain, come sun, 

We men who have been born 

Have tasks undone. 

Out of this earth 

Comes the thing birth, 

The thing unguessed, unwon. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 9 



II 

O wretched man, that, for a little mile 
Crawls beneath heaven for his brother's blood, 
Whose days the planets number with their style, 
To whom all earth is slave, all living, food; 

O withering man, within whose folded shell 
Lies yet the seed, the spirit's quickening corn, 
That Time and Sun will change out of the cell 
Into green meadows, in the world unborn; 

If Beauty be a dream, do but resolve 
And fire shall come, that in the stubborn clay 
Works to make perfect till the rocks dissolve, 
The barriers burst and Beauty takes her way, 

Beauty herself, within whose blossoming Spring 
Even wretched man shall clap his hands and 
sing. 



10 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 



III 

Out of the special cell's most special sense 
Came the suggestion when the light was 

sweet; 

All skill, all beauty, all magnificence 
Are hints so caught, man's glimpse of the 
complete. 

And, though the body rots, that sense survives, 
Being of life's own essence it endures 

(Fruit of the spirit's tillage in men's lives) 
Round all this ghost that wandering flesh 
immures. 

That is our friend, who, when the iron brain 
Assails, or the earth clogs, or the sun hides, 

Is the good God to whom none calls in vain, 
Man's Achieved Good, which, being Life, 
abides, 

The man-made God, that man hi happy breath 
Makes hi despite of Tune and dusty death. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 11 



IV 

You are the link which binds us each to each. 
Passion, or too much thought, alone can end 
Beauty, the ghost, the spirit's common speech, 
Which man's red longing left us for our friend. 

Even in the blinding war I have known this, 
That flesh is but the carrier of a ghost 
Who, through his longing, touches that which is 
Even as the sailor knows the foreign coast. 

So, by the bedside of the dying black 
I felt our uncouth souls subtly made one, 
Forgiven, the meanness of each other's lack, 
Forgiven, the petty tale of ill things done. 

We were but Man, who for a tale of days 
Seeks the one city by a million ways. 



12 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 



I could not sleep for thinking of the sky, 
The unending sky, with all its million suns 
Which turn their planets everlastingly 
In nothing, where the fire-haired comet runs. 

If I could sail that nothing, I should cross 
Silence and emptiness with dark stars passing, 
Then, in the darkness, see a point of gloss 
Burn to a glow, and glare, and keep amassing, 

And rage into a sun with wandering planets 
And drop behind, and then, as I proceed, 
See his last light upon his last moon's granites 
Die to a dark that would be night indeed. 

Night where my soul might sail a million years 
In nothing, not even Death, not even tears. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 13 



VI 

How did the nothing come, how did these fires, 
These million-leagues of fires, first toss their 

hair, 

Licking the moons from heaven in their ires 
Flinging them forth for them to wander there? 

What was the Mind? Was it a mind which 

thought? 
Or chance? Or law? Or conscious law? Or 

Power? 

Or a vast balance by vast clashes wrought? 
Or Time at trial with Matter for an hour? 

Or is it all a body where the cells 
Are living things supporting something strange 
Whose mighty heart the singing planet swells 
As it shoulders nothing hi unending change? 

Is this green earth of many-peopled pain 
Part of a life, a cell within a brain? 



14 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 



VII 

It may be so; but let the unknown be. 
We, on this earth, are servants of the sun. 
Out of the sun comes all the quick in me, 
His golden touch is life to everyone. 

His power it is that makes us spin through space, 
His youth is April and his manhood bread, 
Beauty is but a looking on his face, 
He clears the mind, he makes the roses red. 

What he may be, who knows? But we are his, 
We roll through nothing round him, year by 

year, 

The withering leaves upon a tree which is 
Each with his greed, his little power, his fear. 

What we may be, who knows? But everyone 
Is dust on dust a servant of the sun. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 15 

VIII 

The Kings go by with jewelled crowns, 

Their horses gleam, their banners shake, their 

spears are many. 
The sack of many-peopled towns 
Is all their dream: 
The way they take 
Leaves but a ruin in the break, 
And, in the furrow that the ploughmen make, 
A stampless penny; a tale, a dream. 

The merchants reckon up their gold, 

Their letters come, their ships arrive, their 

freights are glories: 
The profits of their treasures sold 
They tell and sum; 
Their foremen drive 
The servants starved to half-alive 
Whose labours do but make the earth a hive 
Of stinking stories, a tale, a dream. 

The priests are singing in their stalls, 

Their singing lifts, then* incense burns, their 

praying clamours; 
Yet God is as the sparrow falls; 



16 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 

The ivy drifts, 

The votive urns 

Are all left void when Fortune turns, 

The god is but a marble for the kerns 

To break with hammers; a tale, a dream. 

O Beauty, let me know again 

The green earth cold, the April rain, the quiet 

waters figuring sky, 
The one star risen. 

So shall I pass into the feast 

Not touched by King, merchant or priest, 

Know the red spirit of the beast, 

Be the green gram; 

Escape from prison. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 17 



IX 

What is this life which uses living cells 
It knows not how nor why, for no known end, 
This soul of man upon whose fragile shells 
Of blood and brain his very powers depend? 
Pour out its little blood or touch its brain 
The thing is helpless, gone, no longer known, 
The carrion cells are never man again, 
No hand relights the little candle blown. 
It comes not from Without, but from the sperm 
Fed in the womb, it is a man-made thing, 
That takes from man its power to live a term 
Served by live cells of which it is the King. 
Can it be blood and brain? It is most great, 
Through blood and brain alone it wrestles Fate. 



18 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 



Can it be blood and brain, this transient force 
Which, by an impulse, seizes flesh and grows 
To man, the thing less splendid than the horse, 
More blind than owls, less lovely than the rose? 
O, by a power unknown it works the cells 
Of blood and brain; it has the power to see 
Beyond the apparent thing the something else 
Which it inspires dust to bring to be. 
O, blood and brain are its imperfect tools, 
Easily wrecked, soon worn, slow to attain, 
Only by years of toil the master rules 
To lovely ends, those servants blood and brain. 
And Death, a touch, a germ, has still the force 
To make him ev'n as the rose, the owl, the horse. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 19 



XI 

Not only blood and brain its servants are, 
There is a finer power that needs no slaves 
Whose lovely service distance cannot bar 
Nor the green sea with all her hell of waves, 
Nor snowy mountains, nor the desert sand, 
Nor heat, nor storm, it bends to no control, 
It is a stretching of the spirit's hand 
To touch the brother's or the sister's soul; 
So that from darkness in the narrow room 
I can step forth and be about her heart, 
Needing no star, no lantern in the gloom, 
No word from her, no pointing on the chart, 
Only red knowledge of a window flung 
Wide to the night, and calling without tongue. 



20 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 



XII 

Drop me the seed, that I, even in my brain 
May be its nourishing earth. No mortal knows 
From what immortal granary comes the grain, 
Nor how the earth conspires to make the rose; 

But from the dust and from the wetted mud 
Comes help, given or taken; so with me 
Deep in my brain the essence of my blood 
Shall give it stature until Beauty be. 

It will look down, even as the burning flower 
Smiles upon June, long after I am gone. 
Dust-footed Tune will never tell its hour, 
Through dusty Time its rose will draw men on, 

Through dusty Tune its beauty shall make plain 
Man, and, Without, a spirit scattering grain. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 21 

XIII 

Ah, but Without there is no spirit scattering; 
Nothing but Life, most fertile but unwise, 
Passing through change in the sun's heat and 

cloud's watering, 
Pregnant with self, unlit by inner eyes. 

There is no Sower, nor seed for any tillage; 
Nothing but the grey brain's pash, and the 

tense will 

And that poor fool of the Being's little village 
Feeling for the truth in the little veins that 

thrill. 

There is no Sowing, but digging, year by year, 
In a hill's heart, now one way, now another, 
Till the rock breaks and the valley is made clear 
And the poor Fool stands, and knows the sun 
for his brother 

And the Soul shakes wings like a bird escaped 

from cage 
And the tribe moves on to camp in its heritage. 



22 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 



XIV 

You are too beautiful for mortal eyes, 
You the divine unapprehended soul; 
The red worm in the marrow of the wise 
Stirs as you pass, but never sees you whole. 

Even as the watcher in the midnight tower 
Knows from a change in heaven an unseen star, 
So from your beauty, so from the summer 

flower, 
So from the light, one guesses what you are. 

So in the darkness does the traveller come 
To some lit chink, through which he cannot see, 
More than a light, nor hear, more than a hum, 
Of the great hall where Kings hi council be. 

So, in the grave, the red and mouthless worm 
Knows of the soul that held his body firm. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 23 



XV 

Is it a sea on which the souls embark 
Out of the body, as men put to sea? 
Or do we come like candles in the dark 
In the rooms in cities in eternity? 

Is it a darkness that our powers can light? 
Is this, our little lantern of man's love, 
A help to find friends wandering in the night 
In the unknown country with no star above? 

Or is it sleep, unknowing, outlasting clocks 
That outlast men, that, though the cockcrow 

ring, 

Is but one peace, of the substance of the rocks, 
Is but one space in the now unquickened thing, 

Is but one joy, that, though the million tire, 
Is one, always the same, one life, one fire? 



THE BLACKSMITH 

XVI 

The blacksmith in his sparky forge 
Beat on the white-hot softness there; 
Even as he beat he sang an air 
To keep the sparks out of his gorge. 

So many shoes the blacksmith beat, 
So many shares and links for traces, 
So many builders' struts and braces, 
Such tackling for the chain-fore-sheet, 

That, in his pride, big words he spake; 
"I am the master of my trade, 
What iron is good for I have made, 
I make what is in iron to make." 

Daily he sang thus by his fire, 
Till one day, as he poised his stroke 
Above his bar, the iron spoke, 
"You boaster, drop your hammer, liar." 

24 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 25 

The hammer dropped out of his hand, 
The iron rose, it gathered shape, 
It took the blacksmith by the nape, 
It pressed him to the furnace, and 

Heaped fire upon him till his form 
Was molten, flinging sparks aloft, 
Until his bones were melted soft, 
His hairs crisped in a fiery storm. 

The iron drew him from the blaze 
To place him on the anvil, then 
It beat him from the shape of men, 
Like drugs the apothecary brays; 

Beat him to ploughing-coulters, beat 
Body and blood to links of chain, 
With endless hammerings of pain, 
Unending torment of white heat; 

And did not stop the work, but still 
Beat on him while the furnace roared; 
The blacksmith suffered and implored, 
With iron bonds upon his will. 



26 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 

And, though he could not die nor shrink, 
He felt his being beat by force 
To horse shoes stamped on by the horse, 
And into troughs whence cattle drink. 

He felt his blood, his dear delight, 

Beat into shares, he felt it rive 

The green earth red; he was alive, 

Dragged through the earth by horses' might. 

He felt his brain, that once had planned 
His daily life, changed to a chain 
Which curbed a sail or dragged a wain, 
Or hoisted ship-loads to the land. 

He felt his heart, that once had thrilled 
With love of wife and little ones, 
Cut out and mingled with his bones 
To pin the bricks where men rebuilt. 

He felt his very self impelled 

To common uses, till he cried, 

" There's more within me than is tried, 

More than you ever think to weld. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 27 

"For all my pain I am only used 
To make the props for daily labor; 
I burn, I am beaten like a tabor 
To make men tools; I am abused. 

"Deep in the white heat where I gasp 
I see the unmastered finer powers, 
Iron by cunning wrought to flowers, 
File-worked, not tortured by the rasp. 

"Deep hi this fire-tortured mind 
Thought bends the bar in subtler ways, 
It glows into the mass, its rays 
Purge, till the iron is refined. 

"Then, as the full moon draws the tide 
Out of the vague uncaptained sea, 
Some moon power there ought to be 
To work on ore; it should be tried. 

"By this fierce fire in which I ache 
I see new fires not yet begun, 
A blacksmith smithying with the sun, 
At unmade things man ought to make. 



28 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 

"Life is not fire and blows, but thought, 
Attention kindling into joy, 
Those who make nothing new destroy, 
O me, what evil I have wrought. 

"O me," and as he moaned he saw 
His iron master shake, he felt 
No blow, nor did the fire melt 
His flesh, he was released from law. 

He sat upon the anvil top 
Dazed, as the iron was dazed, he took 
Strength, seeing that the iron shook, 
He said, "This cruel time must stop." 

He seized the iron and held him fast 
With pincers, in the midmost blaze, 
A million sparks went million ways, 
The cowhorn handle plied the blast. 

"Burn, then," he cried; the fire was white, 
The iron was whiter than the fire. 
The fireblast made the embers twire, 
The blacksmith's arm began to smite. 



WLLINGDON DOWNS 29 

First vengeance for old pain, and then 
Beginning hope of better things, 
Then swordblades for the sides of Kings 
And corselets for the breasts of men. 

And crowns and such like joys and gems, 
And stars of honour for the pure, 
Jewels of honour to endure, 
Beautiful women's diadems. 

And coulters, sevenfold-twinned, to rend, 
And girders to uphold the tower, 
Harness for unimagined power, 
New ships to make the billows bend, 

And stores of fire-compelling things 
By which men dominate and pierce 
The iron-imprisoned universe 
Where angels lie with banded wings. 




COTTA 

Lucius 
THEIR CHIEF 



THE FRONTIER 

COTTA 

Would God the route would come for home. 
My God, this place, day after day, 
A month of heavy march from Rome. 
This camp, the troopers' huts of clay, 
The horses tugging at their pins, 
The roaring brook and then the whins 
And nothing new to do or say. 

Lucius 
They say the tribes are up. 

COTTA 

Who knows? 

Lucius 
Our scouts say that they saw their fires. 

COTTA 

Well, if we fight it's only blows 
And bogging horses in the mires. 

33 




34 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 

Lucius 

Their raiders crossed the line last night, 
Eastward from this, to raid the stud, 
They stole our old chief's stallion, Kite. 
He's in pursuit. 

COTTA 

That looks like blood. 

Lucius 

Well, better that than dicing here 
Beside this everlasting stream. 

COTTA 

My God, I was in Rome last year, 
Under the sun, it seems a dream. 

Lucius 

Things are not going well in Rome, 
This frontier war is wasting men 
Like water, and the Tartars come 
In hordes. 

COTTA 
We beat them back again. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 35 

Lucius 

So far we have, and yet I feel 
The Empire is too wide a bow 
For one land's strength. 

COTTA 

The stuff's good steel. 

Lucius 

Too great a strain may snap it though. 
If we were ordered home. . . . 

COTTA 

Good Lord . . . 

Lucius 

If ... Then our friends, the tribesmen there 
Would have glad days. 

COTTA 

This town would flare 
To warm old Foxfoot and his horde. 

Lucius 

We have not been forethoughtful here, 
Pressing the men to fill the ranks 
Centurions sweep the province clear. 



36 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 

COTTA 
Rightly. 

Lucius 



Perhaps. 



COTTA 
We get no thanks. 



Lucius 

We strip the men for troops abroad 
And leave the women and the slaves 
For merchants and then- kind. The graves 
Of half each province line the road. 
These people could not stand a day 
Against the tribes, with us away. 

COTTA 
Rightly. 

Lucius 
Perhaps. 

COTTA 
Here comes the Chief. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 37 

Lucius 
Sir, did your riders catch the thief? 

CHIEF 

No, he got clear and keeps the horse 
But bad news always conies with worse. 
The frontier's fallen, we're recalled, 
Our army's broken, Rome's appalled, 
My God, the whole world's in a blaze. 
So now, we've done with idle days 
Fooling on frontiers. Boot and start. 
It gives a strange feel in the heart 
To think that this, that Rome has made, 
Is done with. Yes, the stock's decayed. 
We march at once. You mark my words, 
We're done, we're crumbled into sherds, 
We shall not see this place again 
When once we go. 

Lucius 
Do none remain? 

CHIEF 

No, none, all march. Here ends the play. 
March, and burn camp. The order's gone, 
Your men have sent your baggage on. 



38 WLLINGDON DOWNS 

COTTA 
My God, hark how the trumpets bray. 

CHIEF 

They do. You see the end of things. 
The power of a thousand kings 
Helped us to this, and now the power 
Is so much hay that was a flower. 

Lucius 
We have been very great and strong. 

CHIEF 
That's over now. 

Lucius 
It will be long 
Before the world will see our like. 

CHIEF 

We've kept these thieves beyond the dyke 
A good long tune, here on the Wall. 

Lucius 

Colonel, we ought to sound a call 
To mark the end of this. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 39 

CHIEF 

We ought. 

Look. There's the hill top where we fought 
Old Foxfoot. Look, there in the whin. 
Old ruffian knave. Come on. Fall in. 




40 



Night is on the downland, on the lonely moor- 
land, 

On the hills where the wind goes over sheep- 
bitten turf, 

Where the bent grass beats upon the unploughed 
poorland 

And the pine woods roar like the surf. 

Here the Roman lived on the wind-barren 

lonely, 

Dark now and haunted by the moorland fowl; 
None comes here now but the peewit only, 
And moth-like death in the owl. 

Beauty was here, on this beetle-droning down- 
land; 

The thought of a Caesar in the purple came 

From the palace by the Tiber in the Roman 
townland 

To this wind-swept hill with no name. 

Lonely Beauty came here and was here in sad- 
ness, 
Brave as a thought on the frontier of the mind, 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 41 

In the camp of the wild upon the march of 

madness, 
The bright-eyed Queen of the blind. 

Now where Beauty was are the wind-withered 

gorses 

Moaning like old men in the hill-wind's blast, 
The flying sky is dark with running horses 
And the night is full of the past. 



MIDNIGHT 

XIX 

The fox came up by Stringer's Pound, 

He smelt the south west warm on the ground, 

From west to east a feathery smell 

Of blood on the wing-quills tasting well. 

A buck's hind feet thumped on the sod, 

The whip-like grass snake went to clod, 

The dog-fox put his nose in the air 

To taste what food was wandering there. 

Under the clover down the hill 

A hare in form that knew his will. 

Up the hill, the warren awake 

And the badger shewing teeth like a rake. 

Down the hill the two twin thorpes 

Where the crying night owl waked the corpse, 

And the moon on the stilly windows bright 

Instead of a dead man's waking light. 

The cock on his perch that shook his wing 

When the clock struck for the chimes to ring, 

A duck that muttered, a rat that ran 

And a horse that stamped, remembering man. 

42 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 43 

XX 

Up on the downs the red-eyed kestrels hover 
Eyeing the grass. 

The field mouse flits like a shadow into cover 
As their shadows pass. 

Men are burning the gorse on the down's shoul- 
der, 

A drift of smoke 

Glitters with fire and hangs, and the skies 
smoulder, 

And the lungs choke. 

Once the tribe did thus on the downs, on these 

downs, burning 
Men in the frame, 
Crying to the gods of the downs till their brains 

were turning 
And the gods came. 

And to-day on the downs, in the wind, the 

hawks, the grasses, 
In blood and ah-, 

Something passes me and cries as it passes, 
On the chalk downland bare. 



44 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 

XXI 

No man takes the farm, 
Nothing grows there, 
The ivy's arm 
Strangles the rose there. 

Old Fanner Kyrle 
Farmed there the last; 
He beat his girl; 
(It's seven years past). 

After market it was 
He beat his girl; 
He liked his glass, 
Old Farmer Kyrle. 

Old Kyrle's son 
Said to his father, 
"Now, dad, you ha' done, 
I'll kill you rather. 

"Stop beating sister 
Or by God I'll kill you." 
Kyrle was full of liquor. 
Old Kyrle said, "Will you?" 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 45 

Kyrle took his cobb'd stick 
And beat his daughter. 
He said, "I'll teach my chick 
As a father oughter." 

Young Will, the son, 
Heard his sister shriek, 
He took his gun 
Quick as a streak. 

He said, "Now, dad, 
Stop, once for all." 
He was a good lad, 
Good at kicking the ball. 

His father clubbed 
The girl on the head. 
Young Will upped , 
And shot him dead. 

"Now, sister," said Will, 
" I've a-killed father, 
As I said I'd kill. 
O my love, I'd rather 



46 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 

"A kill him again 
Than see you suffer. 

my little Jane, 

Kiss goodbye to your brother. 

1 won't see you again, 
Nor the cows homing, 
Nor the mice in the grain, 
Nor the primrose coming, 

Nor the fair, nor folk, 
Nor the summer flowers 
Growing on the wold 
Nor aught that's ours. 

Not Tib the cat, 
Not Stub the mare, 
Nor old dog Pat 
Never anywhere. 

For I'll be hung 
In Gloucester prison 
When the bell's rung 
And the sun's risen. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 47 

They hanged Will 
As Will said, 
With one thrill 
They choked him dead. 

Jane walked the wold 
Like a grey gander; 
All grown old 
She would wander. 

She died soon. 
At high tide 
At full moon 
Jane died. 

The brook chatters 
As at first, 
The farm it waters 
Is accurst; 

No man takes it, 
Nothing grows there, 
Blood straiks it, 
A ghost goes there. 




48 



A hundred years ago, they quarried for the 

stone here; 
The carts came through the wood by the track 

still plain; 
The drills shew in the rock where the blasts 

were blown here, 
They shew up dark after rain. 

Then the last cart of stone went away through 

the wood, 
To build the great house for some April of a 

woman, 
Till her beauty stood hi stone, as her man's 

thought made it good, 
And the dumb rock was made human. 

The house still stands, but the April of its 

glory 
Is gone, long since, with the beauty that has 

gone, 
She wandered away west, it is an old sad 

story, 
It is best not talked upon. 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 49 

And the man has gone, too, but the quarry that 

he made, 

Whenever April comes as it came in old time, 
Is a dear delight to the man who loves a maid, 
For the primrose comes from the lime. . . . 

And the blackbird builds below the catkin 

shaking 
And the sweet white violets are beauty in the 

blood, 
And daffodils are there, and the blackthorn 

blossom breaking 
Is a wild white beauty in bud. 



50 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 

XXIII 

Here the legion halted, here the ranks were 

broken, 

And the men fell out to gather wood, 
And the green wood smoked, and bitter words 

were spoken, 
And the trumpets called to food. 

And the sentry on the rampart saw the distance 
dying 

In the smoke of distance blue and far, 

And heard the curlew calling and the owl reply- 
ing 

As the night came cold with one star; 

And thought of home beyond, over moorland, 

over marshes, 
Over hills, over the sea, across the plains, across 

the pass, 
By a bright sea trodden by the ships of Tar- 

shis, 
The farm, with cicadse in the grass. 

And thought, as I, " Perhaps I may be done 
with living 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 51 

To-morrow, when we fight. I shall see those 

souls no more. 

O, beloved souls, be beloved in forgiving 
The deeds and the words that make me sore." 



52 LOLLINGDON DOWNS 

XXIV 

We danced away care till the fiddler's eyes 

blinked, 
And at supper, at midnight, our wine-glasses 

chinked, 
Then we danced till the roses that hung round 

the wall 

Were broken red petals that did rise and did fall 
To the ever-turning couples of the bright-eyed 

and gay, 
Singing in the midnight to dance care away. 

Then the dancing died out and the carriages 

came, 
And the beauties took their cloaks and the men 

did the same, 
And the wheels crunched the gravel and the 

lights were turned down, 
And the tired beauties dozed through the cold 

drive to town. 

Nan was the belle and she married her beau, 
Who drank, and then beat her, and she died 
long ago, 



LOLLINGDON DOWNS 53 

And Mary, her sister, is married and gone 
To a tea planter's lodge, in the plains, in Ceylon. 

And Dorothy's sons have been killed out in 

France, 

And May lost her man in the August advance, 
And Em, the man jilted, and she lives all alone 
In the house of this dance which seems burnt 

hi my bone. 

Margaret and Susan and Marian and Phyllis 
With red lips laughing and the beauty of lilies 
And the grace of wild swans and a wonder of 

bright hair, 
Dancing among roses with petals in the air. 

All, all are gone, and Hetty's little maid 
Is so like her mother that it makes me afraid. 
And Rosalind's son, whom I passed in the street, 
Clinked on the pavement with the spurs on his 
feet.